We recently connected with Kurt. He’s 57, married, a father of four grown kids, and a marketer for a food manufacturing company. He makes the most of the Livongo for Diabetes and Livongo for Hypertension programs. He has also mastered the skill of playing his electronic drum kit while riding a stationary bike and watching the news. This is his story.
Livongo: Tell us about your diagnosis and your first few years with diabetes and hypertension.
Kurt: I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 9 years ago. It wasn’t a complete surprise, since diabetes runs on both sides of my family. For a number of years, although I was very active — I love walking my dog, for instance — I kept things on the down low about my condition. I was in denial. I struggled with sweets: I couldn’t have one or two. I also didn’t check my blood glucose often.
Last year, I had a wake-up call. A good friend of mine with Type 2 diabetes hit a wall. He was about my same age, and very social and high energy. He pushed himself so hard that he ended up landing in the hospital. His kidneys shut down. As a result, he had to go on dialysis. Also, I have seen others with diabetes close to me lose the feeling in their feet and go blind. I decided I didn’t want any of this to happen to me.
Livongo: When did you first hear about Livongo? How has your experience been?
Kurt: My company started offering the Livongo programs around the same time my friend was facing his complications, so the timing was impeccable in a sense.
I totally, totally, totally enjoy the program! I love the little chirp I get when my blood glucose is below 70 mg/dL, telling me to get some carbs and check again in 15-20 minutes. When I first checked I didn’t realize the glucose meter was connected to the network. So I was surprised to get a notification on my phone from a coach less than 2 minutes later. I thought it was very cool.
I love tracking my steps, my miles … So, having the ability to see my trends from one week to another, and being able to make decisions based on my blood glucose or blood pressure readings, has been extremely helpful.
Since I’ve been a Livongo member, I’ve gone from 220 to 190 pounds, and my most recent A1c was 6.1%, down from 7.2%. Regarding hypertension, lowering caffeine and having an outlet for my stress have greatly helped keep my blood pressure under control. At my last checkup, my doctor said I could stop taking one of my medications.
Livongo: Where do you see life going? Any additional thoughts?
Kurt: I just want to be healthy. In the short term, I would like to completely get off meds and lose another 10 pounds. Long term, I want to grow old with my wife, my kids, and (possibly) grandkids. I want to see them, and I want to do so without any complications due to diabetes or hypertension.
Today, I am OUT as a person with diabetes. I was in the closet, and it’s not healthy to be that way. You have to accept who you are: I didn’t choose this disease, it chose me. Thanks to Livongo, I have a system that gives me the information and support that I need to stay on track. Your product can really change someone’s life!
The testimonials, statements, and opinions presented are applicable to the individuals depicted or quoted. Each member’s exact results and experience will be unique and individual to each member. The testimonials are voluntarily provided and are not paid.